I am thirty years old and that is nothing.
This library haul had a 75 percent success rate, with The Far Field being the concluding chapter (heh) of that rate.
And – as it sometimes is with good stories – with this one it’s hard to put into words what exactly is good about it. It’s not like the naive, spoiled protagonist is easy to love, nor are the other characters particularly likeable. The plot could well be called Eat Pray Love with poverty tourism, so honestly, Madhuri Vijay had the stacks against her.
But there’s so much humanity in these characters and their stories. The randomness of things, people and situations brought together and bringing the worst or the best out in each other. You could say that the protagonist leaves a trail of destruction behind, but does she even have that kind of power? What is there to destruct in a war zone?
This book is coming of age, a rapport of ordinary life in contested country, a confrontation with bias. It’s written in such an appealing way that sometimes the plot arrives second because you’re just enjoying the words.
The Far Field, Madhuri Vijay, Grove Press 2019